One of the most common reasons couples divorce is because they either have or want to have other romantic relationships. Under these circumstances, there may be no choice but to end their marriage.
While non-marital relationships are one common reason behind the decision to divorce, they can also affect the divorce process in a few significant ways.
Fueling bad feelings
Cheating on a spouse or starting a new relationship very quickly can make the other party feel betrayed and angry. As such, the party who has not been in another romantic relationship may want to hurt the other person. He or she may demand more property or request spousal support; he or she may refuse to cooperate or trust the other party, causing delays and friction in the divorce process.
On the other hand, someone who is ready to move on or already has moved on may want to pursue the fastest route to divorce. He or she may also feel guilty or bad for the other party. These emotions can lead to inadvisable or rushed agreements.
Potentially affecting child custody
Children can be upset when a parent starts a new relationship. They may not like the new partner; they could also be angry with the parent for finding someone new.
These reactions could influence the child custody arrangement if the children are vehemently opposed to the new partner and are old enough to have a preference for custody. Further, if the relationship reflects reckless decision-making on the parent’s part, it may not be in a child’s best interests to spend significant time with that parent.
Costing more money
Infidelity could have financial repercussions. For instance, if one spouse was unfaithful, he or she may not be eligible to receive spousal support. On the other hand, the non-cheating spouse could receive more alimony, as infidelity is one of the factors courts consider when awarding support.
Further, spouses may have addressed infidelity and other types of marital misconduct in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If so, they may have already assigned specific financial repercussions.
It is worth noting that new relationships don’t always create problems during a divorce. In cases where both parties are ready to move on to new chapters, the divorce process could be amicable and cooperative.